Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI — Nam Định who take on Hoàng Anh Gia Lai (HAGL) Sunday are desperate for a win to avoid dropping out of V.League 1.
The game will be held at their home ground, Thiên Trường Stadium in the northern province of Nam Định.
Nam Định have had positive results in the two recent matches with earning draws against V.League 1’s runners-up Thanh Hóa (2-2) and against Hải Phòng (1-1).
Nam Định are at 13th out of 14 teams, three points better off than Cần Thơ.
It has not been a good time for HAGL who have lost their last four games conceding 16 goals, making them the team to let in the most this season.
HAGL sit 11th in the division so they also face the risk of relegation.
The gap between Nam Định and their above rival, Sài Gòn FC, is only two points. So good results in the remaining matches will help Nam Định stay in the league.
HAGL’s weak point is defence line so coach Nguyễn Văn Sỹ of Nam Định said they would take full advantage of this point to beat HAGL.
“We will compete at home in next two matches. We are forced to win to complete our target. We have to earn three points in the upcoming game with HAGL at any cost,” said Sỹ.
While coach Dương Minh Ninh of HAGL said: “At present, my team are in a difficult period. We have to fight to stay in the league. We will try our best in the next three matches.”
It will be more difficult for HAGL as their key defender Vũ Văn Thanh hasn’t recovered from his injury that is expected to keep him out for the rest of the season.
Thanh’s injury not only affects his club, but the national team as well with coach Park Hang-seo hoping he will recover in time for the upcoming AFF Cup 2018, which is scheduled to be held from November 8 to December 15.
Thanh is No 1 choice of the mountainous football team and he also proved that he is one of important players of Việt Nam team in the international events this year.
Thanh contributed to the victories of Việt Nam in the AFC U23 Championship held in China in January in which Việt Nam won the silver medal for the first time and the Asian Games 2018 held early this month in Indonesia in which Việt Nam finished fourth.
Meanwhile, the race to the second place is expected to be very interesting among Sanna Khánh Hòa BVN, FLC Thanh Hóa and Sông Lam Nghệ An (SLNA).
Khánh Hòa are in second place with 40 points, followed by Thanh Hóa with 37 points and SLNA with 36 points.
As scheduled, Khánh Hòa will next take on HCM City and SLNA face arch rival Thanh Hóa on Sunday. — VNS